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A Basic Guide to Printing Custom T-Shirts



T-shirts have become extremely popular nowadays and are worn by men and women of all ages. T-shirts were originally given out to sailors in the United States Navy back at the start of the 20th century. At the time, they were plain white and had shorter sleeves. They were to be worn underneath the uniform. However, it wasn’t long before designers picked up on this trend and started customising the t-shirts. Today, you can find a whole lot of different t-shirts adorned with designs on the fronts and backs in numerous colours. However, if you want to design and print your t-shirts on your own, there are several options available for that too. Here is a basic guide for those who want to print custom t-shirts.

Types of Printing Methods

When it comes to custom t-shirt printing, there are several types of printing methods that you can choose from. For starters, the most popular method used for printing t-shirts today is screen printing. Screen printing basically involves using a different “screen” for each of the colours in the design. It’s done using inks and different mesh screens and the print is also treated with a chemical to ensure that the image burns into the t-shirt. The exposed substrate hardens with time while the hidden one still remains soft. The investment required for screen printing t-shirts is very little and the best part is that the screens can be used several times over on numerous t-shirts. In some situations, the same screen might also be used on another design or image altogether so it’s easy to see why this can save you so much money.

Apart from screen printing, other methods used involve digital printing and heat transfer printing. Digital printing, also known as direct-to-garment printing, involves using a modified printer to print the designs on the t-shirts. On the other hand, heat transfer printing relies on using heat to transfer a design onto the t-shirt surface.

Colour Combinations

Since most people go for screen printing, you should know that the combination of colours plays an important role in how the design comes out. For instance, you should be aware that the designs come out best on black and white t-shirts. Some designs can also be reproduced on charcoal or grey coloured t-shirts. Ideally, you should try and keep the colour and detail of the shirts as simple as possible but try to avoid making them boring. If you are getting the t-shirts printed through another company, you should always ask them to show you proofs of how the design will look once it is printed. Most companies don’t mind showing you a customised picture of the t-shirt first so that you can get a better idea and choose accordingly. The first few tries are going to be a hit and miss for you as you get to terms with the properties of the t-shirt and the different types of designs that you can get printed on it.